Goulburn Valley Suns fail to capitalise on chances and suffer defeat at the hands of Ballarat Red Devils right on final whistle.DAMEN FRANCIS March 31, 2014 4:10am
Red Devils defender Steven Thomson steps between his goalkeeper Aaron Romein and Suns striker Stipo Andrijasevic.
Goulburn Valley Suns slumped to a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Ballarat Red Devils in a pulsating maiden National Premier Leagues regional derby at McEwen Reserve on Saturday night.
Within minutes of Kristian Sarkies scoring a dramatic late equaliser, Red Devils substitute Michael Trigger curled a vicious corner inside the near post to snatch back all three points with the last kick of the match.
Suns goalkeeper Phil Petrovski got a hand to the strike, but was unable to keep it out.
Suns adviser Melvyn Wilkes rued his team’s inability to take its chances before half-time and ill-discipline in the closing stages.
‘‘There’s a player on the near post and then you’ve got the goalkeeper, so between them someone is culpable, so I’m going to look at the tape and find out,’’ Wilkes said.
‘‘It’s not a case of hammering the players it’s about building again.
‘‘I said as we came in (at half-time), the amount of chances we had from open play if we don’t start to take them we’re going to get punished and the evidence is there.
‘‘For whatever reason we took our foot off the gas in the second half and allowed them to come back into it.’’
For the second time in as many matches, the Suns conceded an early goal via a defensive mistake.
Left-back Zac Paraskevas attempted to volley a cross clear, only for the ball to slide off his laces and into the path of Dom Swinton, who stole in behind and made no mistake with his finish.
The Suns responded, with Hernan Espindola and Craig Carley going close to an equaliser and the home side eventually restored parity from the spot.
The referee awarded a penalty for handball and Carley stepped up and coolly converted the Suns’ maiden senior goal.
The Suns dictated play the remainder of the half, but failed to capitalise on their domination and were almost punished when Simon Murphy headed Nelson Salvatore’s inviting cross agonisingly wide of the upright.
However, the Suns did not heed the warning and after a tense start to the second half, Ballarat deservedly took the lead, when Swinton’s shot took a deflection off Cody Sellwood and looped into the top corner.
The visitors continued to press and could have gone further ahead, before conceding a second penalty.
Ben Clarke was sent through one-on-one and brought down by Red Devils keeper Aaron Romein.
With Carley subbed off, Sarkies stepped up and while his spot kick was well saved by Romein, the Suns midfielder smashed in the rebound.
It was perhaps more than the Suns deserved for a poor second half showing, but their joy was short lived as Trigger grabbed the winner.
Wilkes denied his side was overawed or outplayed and bemoaned two ‘‘stonewall’’ penalty decisions that were waved away, but admitted his side needed to be more clinical.
‘‘We did create a lot of chances and in the first half our game plan worked a treat, but once we went against that it was evident we need to structure it for the full 90,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s the lack of discipline to give it all away like that and it’s not good enough at this level.’’
Red Devils coach James Robinson was happy to start the campaign with three points.
‘‘I’m never happy to concede goals, but at the end of the day it’s a points business,’’ Robinson said.
‘‘There’s 26 games, so we’re not getting carried away. It was fantastic for spectators .
Frankie Lagana (calf) and Fahed Alghazaly (shoulder) missed the game through injury and Daniel Chaabani made his club debut off the bench.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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